Interview with Laura Bergeron, February 2013
“Find great training partners, volunteer in one race a year and stop when it’s no longer fun.”
Name: Laura Bergeron
Home location: Yarmouth, ME
Sport: Triathlon, cross country skiing, telemark skiing
Profession/Education: Stay-at-home-mom, Bachelor’s degree in English from the University of Puget Sound
Years in sports: Lifetime – always chasing an older brother!
Other prior sports: Alpine ski racing, tennis, running and swimming
Years in current sport: 6 years in triathlon
Kids: 2 fabulous kiddos
Laura Bergeron, married and mother of two, is a triathlete from Maine who believes in setting goals and good nutrition. If this interview doesn’t motivate you to get fit and healthier, we don’t know what will. Enjoy.
KIT: What got you started in triathlon?
LB: My youngest daughter was turning two and I was finally seeing the fog lift between sleepless nights and kid busy days. So I joined a spin class that winter to help shed the baby weight. It was during a morning spin that someone in the class suggested we do a triathlon in the summer. I got hooked.
KIT: What is your biggest accomplishment in your sport?
LB: Winning my age category in the Lobsterman Triathlon which qualified me for Age Group nationals in Burlington, Vermont.
KIT: What one or two things do you currently do in your training that are important to your fitness success?
LB: Make each workout have a purpose and ride with stronger bikers.
KIT: How do you set your goals?
LB: 18 weeks prior to the beginning of my season, I map out my goals for each race including time goals and positive mental images.
KIT: What is your biggest challenge, and what do you do to manage this challenge?
LB: Running is my weak link and it comes at the end of every triathlon. Sticking to my training plan gives me confidence that I have done the work and can give it my best.
KIT: What is your diet like?
LB: With an active family and a passion for good nutrition, I strive to cook healthy meals for my family. I love to cook from our garden in the summer. My favorite summer dish is a tabouleh with fresh tomatoes, parsley, cucumbers and kale from the garden mixed with barley and chickpeas. Kids and training have influenced my cooking habits and I have moved towards a more low meat and slow carb menu, tapping into more beans, whole grains and colorful veggies and fruits. I think cleaner eating makes for a healthy body and improved performance. Plus a little dark chocolate (I do have a weakness for Trader Joe’s dark chocolate covered almonds!)
KIT: What does a typical training week look like for you and how does it fit into your family schedule?
LB: My husband and I are both very active and like to utilize the early mornings to get in our bikes, swims and run. Three mornings a week I swim with the Cumberland Masters swim program. On my husbands early mornings, I ride or bike after the kids go to school. In the winter months, I train 8-10 hours a week.
KIT: Have you experienced a breakthrough, and if so, what led to it?
LB: I have not reached 10,000 hours yet, but I do feel like I am more efficient with less hours of training. I think the breakthrough with me was maintain my base through the winter season and adding in additional endurance sports like skate and cross country skiing into the mix.
KIT: What do you mean by “10,000 hours”?
LB: 10,000 hours comes from Malcom Gladwell’s book “Outliers”. He believes that it takes 10,000 hours of practicing a specific task to be successful. 10,000 hours is not possible for me to achieve this late in the game, but I do think it speaks to quality hours spent training, improving techniques and maximizing efficiencies, to be successful.
KIT: What is your secret to a Keep It Tight lifestyle (i.e. balancing work, family, and fitness?)
LB: Healthy mom, happy family. As a parent, I am a role model for my kids and I believe we all need to make time in each day to exercise before the day gets too busy with other activities. My husband and I also do a century date ride each summer, a great way to spend 6 hours together.
KIT: Where do you draw your inspiration from?
LB: My children – they run without inhibition, play creatively and live for each moment.
KIT: Who is your athlete hero?
LB: Joan Benoit Samuelson, she is a quietly fierce competitor.
KIT: What would you say to an up and coming young cyclist or triathlete?
LB: Find great training partners, volunteer in one race a year and stop when it’s no longer fun.
KIT: What was the best advice you were ever given?
LB: From my husband – “do what you should do, when you should do it, whether you feel like it or not.” It keeps me going when the weather, attitude or laziness may be distracting me from my goal. Just go out and do it, amazingly it always makes me feel better.
KIT: Do you have a saying or motto that you live your life by?
LB: From an old Title Nine t-shirt – A fit woman is fit for everything. The fitness of our body fuels the confidence of our souls. We are fit to toss our children in the air and throw caution to the wind. We are fit to run. We are fit to win!
Keep It Tight on Facebook
Happy Memorial Day weekend everyone! Hopefully y'all find some time to hammer out a few miles and read up (or watch) the remaining Giro d'Italia stages...which is quite exciting this year.